An off-duty Los Angeles police officer drew and discharged his firearm during a scuffle with an unarmed teen in Anaheim, California, on Feb. 21 (video below).
One of the witness videos was uploaded to Facebook on Feb. 22 by MediaTakeOut, and has received over five million views.
No one was injured by the gunfire, but there were numerous calls and emails to the Anaheim Police Department, which is investigating the incident, notes the Los Angeles Times.
Anaheim police said that the incident started over "ongoing issues" of young people walking on the officer's property.
In the video, the officer alleges that the 13-year-old boy threatened to "shoot" him, but the boy insists that he said "sue." The teen also says the cop called a girl a "c***."
In video posted by witnesses, the officer drags the boy across a lawn while several other teens and at least one adult watch. The boy tells the officer several times to let him go. A second juvenile approaches the cop and, moments later, a third boy rushes the officer.
The cop falls over a hedge, but holds onto the teen boy. The second juvenile throws a punch at the officer.
Two more young people approach, and the cop pulls a gun out of his waistband and fires it; the witnesses scatter.
Minutes later, Anaheim police officers arrived on the scene.
According to the Anaheim police, the 13-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of battery and making criminal threats, while a 15-year-old was arrested on suspicion of assault and battery.
Anaheim Sgt. Daron Wyatt said the off-duty cop was not arrested.
Capt. Andy Neiman, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department, said: "We will continue to conduct the internal investigation to determine the actions of the officer and the circumstances, and then we’ll consult with the Orange County district attorney as well to determine if there’s any issues."
Gregory Perez, a 16-year-old witness, told The Orange County Register: "The little kid said, 'I’m going to sue you,' and then the guy thought he said, 'I’m going to shoot you.' That’s when he started grabbing the little kid."
Anaheim police said the shooting happened near Loara High School, reports KTLA.
The 13-year-old boy's mother, who asked not to be identified, took her son home from a detention center on Feb. 22. The mother said that she was told the Orange County District Attorney's Office rejected the charges by the Anaheim police, but the DA's office did not confirm this.
The 13-year-old said that he was defending a girl that the off-duty cop cursed at for stepping on his lawn.
The boy's mother has retained an attorney, and activists called for a protest at 7 p.m. at the scene of the incident, which was near the cop's home.
(Note: Several copies of the same video are posted below because there are reports of video deletions by YouTube)